As the 24th annual climate conference kicked off on December 3rd, 2018, I am reporting to you from the CommUnity by InnoEnergy. Being your quintessential millennial who cares deeply about energy and its impact on the environment, I was ecstatic to begin this series on the COP24 conference. The original idea was to start with a summary of the past conferences, most notably COP21, where the Paris Agreement was first brought to the table, and COP22 where it was kicked into action.
However, as I kept doing research, the ambivalent critic inside me came out to play and inspired the optimistic angel on the other shoulder to take this opportunity and silence it. To do this, I would like to combat the negative tones I have found on the matrix we call Social Media. Human nature oftentimes guides us pessimistically, especially when we are dealing with challenges in our lives. In this case, the challenge is a global and extremely complex one. There are many moments where I get down on this journey, and comments like this help to kill the mood:
“It will be just another of those conferences where everyone will come and talk big, and talk of activities which actually have made no difference to life of people.”
“The #Parisagreement is a political symbol, not a realistic plan. The #Parisagreement will not stop the unprecedented human destruction of the environment.”
Even the authorities have picked up on the doubts as UN News answers this question:
“The UN seems to be having a lot of conferences and summits on this subject. Is any of it, well... fruitful?”
The answer is a beautifully realistic and an inspiring one that holds my attention. It is exactly how we should direct our attitudes as we fight to keep our planet in the best condition we can:
“These meetings have been vital to find a global consensus on an issue that requires a global solution. Although progress has been much slower than needed, the process – which has been as challenging as it is ambitious – has worked to bring all countries with very different circumstances, together. Progress has been made every step of the way. Some of the concrete actions taken so far prove one thing: climate action has a real positive impact and can truly help us prevent the worst.” 
From our perspective, the InnoEnergy Masters Programmes are a perfect example of these concrete actions emerging from conferences where they “talk big and make no difference to the life of people.” For me personally, and to most of my colleagues, this experience has made a world of difference in our lives. As an international programme, we have learned about other cultures and problems around the world through a deep understanding of each other, ourselves and where we come from. We feel part of something with purpose, which many people spend their lives searching for and never find.
Perhaps it is not a direct influence on curbing climate change, but it is a small step along the way to prepare a good base of future leadership. Like me during the writing of this article, we all must learn to overpower our negative thoughts and redirect our attention to the amazing opportunities offered to us in a world that is more connected than ever before. It is a constant battle, but we must ask ourselves this question: why not try to make the world a better place? No harm can be done in this quest, and our generation has the front stage with the help of progressive policy. Let’s stop placing the blame on others for what they are doing or not doing, let’s group together and do something ourselves - let’s make an impact!
So, instead of a simple summary, I would like to propose a more motivating task. From the conclusions drawn at COP24, the 2019 Climate Change Summit will challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens to step up action in six areas:
Transition to renewable energy
Funding of climate action and carbon pricing
Reducing emissions from industry
Using nature as a solution
Sustainable cities and local action
Climate change resilience
We would like to keep these in our mind as we progress through the next two weeks in order to maintain momentum until the Summit. This will be achieved by closely following the “Climate Action Messenger Bot” on the UN Facebook page, and asking for contributions.
We are ready to spread the word. We are ready to engage. If you are a forward thinker, #TakeYourSeat and help us on #ARaceWeCanWin together as a connected world. Let us know if you have a story to tell that fits these categories. Use these hashtags to make your voice heard. Keep yourself updated on the key COP24 points on our LinkedIn and Instagram accounts!
From those of us at CommUnity by InnoEnergy, we say:
By Anna Schaeffer
Published on 05 December 2018
 UN News. 29 Nov 2018. https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/11/1026851